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bluemoon1 | 18:34 Thu 06th Dec 2018 | Law
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I have sole responsibility for a deceased relatives estate, this in total is a sum of money in a bank account and some outstanding bills for a nursing home.
To cut a long story short, I have looked at the .gov site and getting probate seems easy enough without the use of a solicitor. Can anybody advise me if this is the case or do I really need legal representation?


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Ask at the bank where the account is. They will help and it will be free. They do this all the time,it is a normal part of the service.
I have obtained it without solicitor's help - a fiddly but not particularly difficult task. I only encountered one problem and the Probate Helpline seemed as baffled but they did eventually give me a decision.
No, it is not difficult. Check if you do it online. If you can, it really is straightforward.
^Check if you can do it online.^
Far better to do it yourself. It's always been fairly straightforward for me whereas in cases I know where people used solicitors the solicitors managed to make the process last much longer than it needed to and took big fees for sending out bog-standard emails.
I'm not sure what eddie means - the bank may tell you for free how to apply for probate but they won't do it for you for free or even give specifc advise on whether you should use a solictor or not.
yes, the online system works well. It usually costs about £250 or something like that to apply for probate (manually or online) but you'd pay that via a solicitor on top of their fees (usually well over £1000) so it's a much cheaper option
I did my own Probate application when my dad died, two years ago, but I did get it checked by a solicitor before I sent it to the Probate Office. There were a couple of sections, which I had left blank, which he helped me complete.

I was not charged for this checking procedure because we drew up our Will with that same solicitor.
Yes, last time I did it I felt some questions were ambiguous or the guidance notes were not clear, and some questions could be very difficult to answer for some families- eg about how many children did adopted children of your auntie have. I had to redo the form a couple of times before I sussed it
As others have said, it is a relatively easy (if not time consuming) exercise to obtain probate for a low value estate.

If the estate value is very low (after payment of any outstanding debts), I would consider calling in to the bank and asking if you present the death certificate and nursing home bills, whether they would considered paying them directly from the account and releasing the remaining funds to you (without going through probate).

Otherwise you could end up paying more to obtain probate than money in the account after any debts are paid.
Other than in the case of very complex estates (such as where certain types of farms are involved) obtaining probate without the aid of a solicitor is an absolute doddle and, based upon my own experience, Probate Registry staff are exceptionally helpful.

Do it yourself.
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Thank you very much for all your replies, the consensus of opinion seems to be go it alone and that is what I'll try.
I called the co op to get a quote and they insisted on sending somebody round to talk to me. During the chat he got me to sign up saying that they would take the case in hand, over £3,000 was the fee.
There is a cooling of period, so I shall cancel and do it online.
I'll let you know how I go on if anybody should be interested.
If it's a fairly straight forward estate then it's easy, even OH managed it long before t'internet. I think he had to make a personal appearance at the Preston office but that was almost 20 years ago.'ll be fine....I did it and it was easy. The only problem I had was that a solicitor was joint executor and she wanted £1000 to fulfil her part. Her part was getting the information from me so I thought....stuff that.
For £100 she wrote a letter saying she would be renouncing her role. She made a mistake in her letter and probate wasn't granted. When she remedied it I was granted probate and she wrote off the £100 out of sheer embarrassment.... :-)

Let us know how you get on.....but it's not difficult honestly.....x

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